Introduction: Hostess Cupcake Cake

Picture of Hostess Cupcake Cake

I totally disagree with the contest rule that says cupcakes are not cake, which inspired me to make a cake based on perhaps the most infamous cupcake their is: the hostess cupcake.

I found a filling recipe on the internet and took a few shortcuts - like using a box cake mix - since I just came up with this on a whim. I was pretty happy with it but would make a few slight changes if I made it in the future (I'll list them in the steps)

I ended up taking my finished cake to work and it was a big hit.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Supplies

Picture of Gather Ingredients and Supplies

  • 3 identical 8-9" pie pans. I only have two and didn't feel like baking in two batches, so I bought a 3 pack of 8.5" pans for $2
  • an oven-safe ceramic bowl 3-4" in diameter - I used a great little ceramic ikea bowl
  • a cookie sheet
  • a ziplock bag


  • 1 box cake mix - I used duncan hines dark chocolate fudge cake because it was the closest match to the original
  • eggs, oil, & water to mix cake (how much you need of each depends on the mix you use)
  • marshmallow fluff
  • unsalted butter
  • powdered sugar
  • cream
  • semisweet chocolate chips

Step 2: Make Batter and Prepare Pans

Picture of Make Batter and Prepare Pans

This step is pretty self explanatory. Mix up the batter according to the directions on the box.

Lay out your three pans and lightly coat them with butter or butter spray.

Take your bowl and butter the outside, then place it in the center of one of the pans

Step 3: Pour the Batter

Picture of Pour the Batter

Spoon batter around the bowl to make a ring of batter, then divide the rest of the batter into the other two pans.

I recommend putting the pan with the ring on a cookie sheet so that the bowl won't move around in transit.

Step 4: Bake Cakes

Picture of Bake Cakes

The two normal cakes will cook according to the directions for 8-9" pans. But remember that the ring cake will cook faster, so it should be done around when the box says cupcakes would be done/

Check it with a piece of dry pasta - if it comes out dry, the cake is done, if it has batter on it, it needs more time. My ring cake took about 20 minutes, and the other two took about 30.

Let the cakes cool while you make the filling

Step 5: Make Filling

Picture of Make Filling

I used a filling recipe from Food & Wine magazine that can be found here:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup Marshmallow Fluff
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

*But, I would use less powdered sugar next time, or maybe use regular butter, because this was sickeningly sweet (which, don't get me wrong, some people liked, but it was too sweet for even my sweet tooth)

Mix everything together at medium speed until it is smooth. I recommend mixing the butter and fluff together and then adding the sugar in as it mixes because it will blend easier.

If it isn't blending thoroughly, ditch the mixer and use a fork to smoosh it together

Put atwo spoonfulls aside in a zip lock bag.

Step 6: Construct the Cake

Picture of Construct the  Cake

Start with one of the full cakes as your first layer.

Use a knife to trace around the bowl and lift it out, leaving you with a ring of cake. Then, carefully flip it over on top of the first layer. Now you will basically have a bowl made out of cake. Fill the hole with the filling and smooth it out.

Top it off with the last full cake.

Finally, use a knife to trim around the edges to make them smooth

Step 7: Make the Icing

Picture of Make the Icing
Since there's thick icing in the middle, you only need a little something to fill it. I used a basic melted chocolate coating from the food and wine recipe, but doubled it to account for the size. I also used semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet, and I still found it a bit too bitter for my taste.

Next time, I will use a thin layer of a normal solid icing so it will be easier to coat the sides.

But here's the basic melted chocolate that I did for this cake:

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • Heat the cream in a small pan until steaming.
  • Add the chocolate and stir until melted
  • Remove from the heat, add the butter, and stir until smooth.
  • Let stand for a few minutes before pouring

Step 8: Ice the Cake

Picture of Ice the Cake

Pour the chocolate and smooth it out over the cake. Then, let it cool 10-15 minutes to set.

Next, take the filling that you reserved and put it in a piping bag if you have one. If you don't (I didn't), put it in a ziplock bag, make a little cut in the bottom corner, and squeeze it down.

Then, make white swirls on top and let them set.

I don't have that steady of a hand and my DIY piping bag made thicker swirlies than I wanted, so I will use a real piping bag with a proper tip if I make this for a party.

Step 9: Voila

Picture of Voila

After the swirls set for about 10 minutes, you're all done. Enjoy!


AMAZONIAbydjljwilliams (author)2012-01-12

Wow! As an Australian who has never in her life seen or tasted a Hostess Cupcake, or have a clue what Marshmallow fluff is, I am going to try to MAKE THIS CAKE!!
I will have to make some serious substitutions obviously!
Its going to have to be a 'from scratch' effort! And I only have one cake pan!
*rolls ups sleeves*

acoleman3 (author)2011-05-15

your swirls may not have been as good as you wanted, but they have the effect desired. oh man, i was having chocolate cravings just looking at it. well done....

berenog (author)2011-04-19

se me antojo tanto que tube que ir a comprar unos a la tienda, antes de acabar de leer. Esta genial. lo hare para mi cumpleaños.

heidisatwork (author)2009-07-15

You said to use 3 identical Pie Pans It may be the angle of the picture, but they sure do look like Cake Pans and not pie pans.........there is a big difference in the 2.

J@50n (author)heidisatwork2010-02-28

 sorry they r pie pans!

Chromatica (author)heidisatwork2010-02-01

It looks exactly like Pie pans in that picture.

NastySod (author)2009-09-09

For VAT purposes, Britian used a simple test to classify Jaffa cakes as cakes, rather than biscuits. The test was to let them go stale. Cakes go hard, biscuits go soft. If cupcakes go hard, the rule was wrong. Simple.

LilLaTLuv (author)2009-07-21

Hey! Wow! That's really incredible. I can't wait to find out what this tastes like, because it sure looks like a million bucks. Thanks for sharing this with me, I really appreciate it! Luv ya, Tashi :)

Grey_Wolfe (author)2008-09-26

I think it's funny that you have name-brand everything... except for the cream. lol Not a cheap cake. hehe

Sunny124613 (author)2008-09-14

oooh,yummy! 5/5STARS

busybee123 (author)2008-08-06

I used only 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar and it was still very good. It was even better when it was cold from being in the refridgerator.

Notags (author)2008-04-21

That's pretty neat! I think an "official" Hostess cupcake has either 7 or 8 swirls on top, can't remember! When I was about 9 or 10, a friend's mother made a giant HO-HO for a birthday cake. (Another Hostess inspiration!) Faved & Voted!

Badgergirl (author)Notags2008-07-27

There are 7 swirls on top. Nice instructable.

NeonLime (author)2008-04-28

Mmmm :D This Looks Good, Since This Is Another Giant-ized Food, Ill Say The Site Again, - I Have Nothing To Do With This Site. I Just Think Its Really Cool They Make Giant-Sized Whoppers, A McDonalds Pizza?, Etc :D This Cake I Think Is On There Too?

yx516 (author)2008-04-20

I agree with the whole cupcake not being a cake, and i like this Instructable!

yx516 (author)yx5162008-04-20

errr i agree that a cupcake should be a cake and NOT that it should need edit's on this site :D

lifelong-newbie (author)yx5162008-04-22

Official FSA regulation says that a cake goes hard as apposed to a biscuit which goes soft. This regulation was set down after an incident int he late 90s i believe involving the VAT McVities had to pay on there jaffa cakes since they were classed as biscuits (biscuits being a luxury item according to the inland revenue). They said no.... they're cakes since they go hard compared to digestives/ hobnobs etc. that go soft. Suffice to say they did win that case and no longer pay the tax but in reference to any Cake Vs. Biscuit discussion it is common for someone to cite this story, so i thought i'd do it first.

aliceownsj00 (author)2008-04-21

lol genius, and cupcakes are a cake!!

Sharku (author)2008-04-21

really nice!! good work.
well a cupcake is a cake, just small, I used my cupcake recipe and it worked even better as a cake maybe i should put an entry :D

Mr. Rig It (author)2008-04-20

That's it you have my vote! VERY COOL!

recordcousin (author)2008-04-20

Someone told me that these aren't actually baked, but formed. Eek. Eric

karossii (author)recordcousin2008-04-20

There's a wonderful show on discovery channel called 'how its made' - they even have stuff online you can watch. There was an episode that covered twinkies and ding dongs - they are all baked on an assembly line. They're made as a solid cake of the appropriate shape, and then a nozzle is stuck inside which injects filling... not baked in a special form as this cake. You could do the injection trick with a full size cake as well, but you'd probably need to make the cake more solid, so the filling doesn't just ooze through the air holes which make a good cake so... fluffy.

caitlinsdad (author)karossii2008-04-20

It "supposedly" takes 45 seconds to detonate a twinkie in a microwave oven. It would be cool to experiment with a cake of this size but the cleanup wouldn't be much fun...

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-04-20


egreen767 (author)2008-04-20


GorillazMiko (author)2008-04-20

Awesome! I feel like eating one of these right now... well, at least something chocolaty. +1 rating. +1 vote.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2008-04-20

oh wow lol that actually looks pretty good! except im not big into marshmallow, so id just put creme in it.

I'm actually not all that into marshamllow either, this was just the filling I found when I was first inspired to make this cake. I think next time I might try a whipped cream filling like this one:

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